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LAS VEGAS-It appears a lawsuit over Tel Aviv-based El-Ad Group’s use of the Plaza name for its planned multi-billion-dollar resort development on the Las Vegas Strip will be decided by a jury. Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Tuesday denied several motions by El-Ad, according to online court records. The trial is currently scheduled to begin next Thursday, Sept. 11.

Tamares Real Estate, the Lichtenstein-based owner of the Plaza Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas filed a lawsuit this time last year to prevent Israel-based El-Ad Group from using the Plaza name for a planned multi-billion resort project on the Las Vegas Strip. Behind each company is a billionaire. Tamares is controlled by Poju Zabludowicz. El-Ad Group is controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva.

Judge Gonzalez on Tuesday denied El-Ad’s motion for summary judgment on damages and also denied in part its motion for summary judgment on Tamaras’ claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, according to minutes of the case filed online. Judge Gonzalez also denied El-Ad motions to exclude two experts’ reports, but granted its motion to view the premises of the Plaza Hotel. The jury is scheduled to view the premises on Sept. 17.

El-Ad’s $1.25-billion land acquisition for the project of was first announced in May 2007. El-Ad subsequently brought on a partner, Property and Building Corp. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Tel Aviv-based IDB Development Corp., Israel’s largest business group. In March 2008, the joint venture formed for the $8-billion project, El-Ad IDB Las Vegas LLC, received approvals for its site development plan and special use permit from the Clark County Commission. At the time, the JV said design completion and the start of the excavation is scheduled to occur before the end of 2008.

Naftali told GlobeSt.com earlier this month through a representative that the project would be delayed for several months. He also confirmed that its payments on $625 million of acquisition debt from Goldman Sachs Group and Credit Suisse Group have been deferred to May 2009.

While the timeline has changed, the project design and components apparently have not. Thirty months after excavation begins, Naftali says the site will include seven high-rise towers atop a mid-rise podium. The structures will house 4,100 hotel rooms; 2,600 condominium units; 175,900 sf of gaming; 480,000 sf of retail and restaurant space; 539,607 sf of convention space; a 50,000 sf health club; a 1,500-seat theater; and 227,038-sf of recreation space for pools and other amenities.

“The delay is to allow us time plan and ensure the plans are fully complete and that all bids are in before construction can begin,” Naftali said. “Unlike other projects that build and plan as they go, The Plaza wants to be as efficient as possible so they are mapping out all the plans and getting all the bids before beginning excavation.”

El-Ad is also being sued by the broker who initiated the land acquisition for the project but was never paid a commission. The broker is David Atwell, a well-connected middleman for properties along the Las Vegas Strip who operates as Resort Properties of America. He sued Tel Aviv-based El-Ad in June 2007 for $12.5 million, the 1% brokerage fee he felt he was owed for initiating the transaction between the principal owner of El-Ad Group, Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, and Wichita billionaire Phil Ruffin.

There has been no activity in the case since July 10, when US District Judge Larry R. Hicks denied El-Ad’s motion for summary judgment against Atwell and also overruled El-Ad’s objection to having Tshuva deposed. One local industry source tells GlobeSt.com that the lack of activity since then could be a sign that settlement negotiations may be underway. Neither side returned phone calls seeking comment.

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